The Tla’amin First Nation land on Cortes Island will be coming out of the Strathcona Regional District next month.
During its March 24 board meeting, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) received revised Letters Patent, which provide for the exclusion of certain lands located on Cortes Island from the boundaries of Electoral Area B and the SRD.
The Tla’amin land is on the west side of the island, located south of Gorge Harbour between Mansons Landing and Smelt Bay provincial parks, and the boundary amendment takes effect April 5.
“According to ministry staff, the land in question will probably remain separate from any regional district for some period of time but in the future may become part of the Powell River Regional District and/or Hospital District since that is where the majority of land designated under the Tla’amin Final Agreement is located,” SRD CAO Dave Leitch wrote in his report to the board. “At this time, it is unclear how this new arrangement may impact the ability of the Strathcona Regional District to provide services or consider other initiatives in the area.”
Corporate services manager Tom Yates told the board that the boundary amendment essentially excludes real property that forms part of the treaty with the Tla’amin First Nation from the SRD and that staff is still not sure what will happen with the property in the future with it being outside of any regional district boundary for the time being.
Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) director Noba Anderson told the board she didn’t have any head’s up about this boundary amendment but she is not surprised.
“The Tla’amin signed a treaty quite some time ago and this is their only reserve on Cortes,” she said. “There are no roads through it, there’s no development there of any kind, there’s no access to anybody’s else’s property there.”
The report was received, and, on Anderson’s suggestion, the board voted that Chair John MacDonald write to the Tla’amin First Nation chief and council congratulating them on their treaty agreement.